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HeadShoT2009

How To Tell A Bad Clutch

17 posts in this topic

Hi was wondering how you can tell when your clutch is gone/ or on the way out as my focus has 70350 on it and ive owned it since 66500 and ive only been driving about 2 years ( to begin with first year was borrowing my dads new car as i didnt have part time work yet) which was a diesel and only 20k on the clock and driving instrutors two 1.3 diesels which one had 45k and the second was brand new. So when i got mine as it petrol and older tje clutxh felt really different( first time in a petrol) thanks in advance

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I always thought if your biteing point on the clutch pedel was high that's when I is on it's way out.

I have drove a lot of different cars in my time and to be honest all clutches feel different.

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As suggested all cars will ‘feel’ different especially when changing between petrol and diesel. Clutch wear can generally be gauged by the pedal travel, if the pedal is over half way up before the biting point is found then there is a good chance it’s starting to wear out.

But unfortunately on some older cars it may simply be a badly adjusted clutch

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Hi was wondering how you can tell when your clutch is gone/ or on the way out as my focus has 70350 on it and ive owned it since 66500

right what makes you think the clutch is on the way out? Pretend your at the car doctors, what if any are the symptoms your suffering?

Where is the "biting point" of the clutch? ie: in relationship to the travel of the clutch pedal, from fully depressed [to the floor] to fully extended? If it's at the top or near top of the travel, that usually indicates it is "near" the end of it's working life. Don't get me wrong it can still go on for thousands of miles yet if at the near stage. Considering I have had clutches go in a Mondeo and a Focus circa 79/80k, you usually get for warning of imminent failure of the clutch.

Example:- you increase the revs especially in higher gears, yet the car does not speed up as it normally did [clutch slipping]

Test:- find a level bit of road or your drive. In park, hand brake on, in neutral, switch engine on, select third gear. Now balancing the clutch and gas, attempt to pull away in third gear. It is does, you have a good clutch, try it again but in fourth gear, if pulls away you have an excellent clutch. If on doing these tests your revs increase but the car does not pull away, the clutch is on the way out.

In effect what you are doing by doing those tests is this. You, by selecting higher gears are asking the clutch to prove how much it can lift [as if it was a weight lifter in a competition] Climbing gradients, overtaking these are both times when clutch failings are exposed. Doing it as I suggest, just means your doing it in an environment that does not expose you or other road users to the consequences of a failing clutch in traffic.

At 70350 you could well be near the time to needing the clutch replaced, all depends how it has been driven. There is no hard and fast rule, in that it goes at X amount of miles.

Edit: A Mk1 Focus like you have, Ford Dealer will be looking for £500+ to do the job. Well they did on a 1.8 Mk1 Focus I had back in December 2008. I got it done at an independent for £300, so add 17 months inflation onto those costs, for a ball park figure.

Focus 115 likes this

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What catch says, plus:

Drive along at about 20mph or so and put it into top (5th or 6th) and floor the accelerator.

If the car slowly builds up speed, then your clutch is ok. If it builds up speed but revs shoot up erratically, then this is a sign that your clutch is starting to slip.

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i have a ford mondeo 1.6 diesel i have had dmf changed under warranty but not the clutch 2 years ago now i month from warranty end my clutch has gone still having same noises when cold farm tractor in ford dealer today to see if they will do clutch under warranty 29,000 miles any help

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High clutch from purchase of my Focus, never had an issue. Just been told that it's normal as it's a hydraulic clutch.

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Fords have a high bite new or old.... theres no way to tell my clutch went there was no slipping noises or issues it just went

Russ likes this

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Don't modern clutches self adjust anyway? Last clutch (and only one) I had started to slip up hills but the biting point was the same after I had a replacement fitted?

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Most modern clutches self adjust, certainly the majority if not all of the clutches in modern Fords do. Focus clutches tend to have a high bite point even from new & mileage wise a clutch can go at 20K if the driver has been driving like a spanner (lots of burn outs/launch starts etc) or it can go well over 100K.

My Mk2 Focus 1.8 TDCI is on it's original clutch & has just passed 120K with no slipping or vibrations (famous last words) :rolleyes:

If it still drives OK I wouldn't worry TBH.

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My Focus is nearly at 128k, still on original clutch and is okay. My brother's mk4 mondeo is on 170k and still going on original clutch, and that gets abuse as it is a taxi

Sent via the 'Clacks'

GNU STP

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Most modern clutches self adjust, certainly the majority if not all of the clutches in modern Fords do. Focus clutches tend to have a high bite point even from new & mileage wise a clutch can go at 20K if the driver has been driving like a spanner (lots of burn outs/launch starts etc) or it can go well over 100K.

My Mk2 Focus 1.8 TDCI is on it's original clutch & has just passed 120K with no slipping or vibrations (famous last words) :rolleyes:

If it still drives OK I wouldn't worry TBH.

My clutch went on my old focus mk2 pretty much straight after it hit 120k

Knew something was wrong as it started to change gear erraticly, like I'd change up from 3rd to 4th, 4th to 5th etc and the revs would shoot right up pretty much red lining it and it would be hard to get them back down.

Another time was using cruise control, say I was driving along using the pedals, then pressed the resume button to return to my set cruising speed, again the revs would shoot right up really rapidly and as a result knock the cruise control off.

Knew something was up and I was actually driving to my mechanic to get it looked at when it completely died just coming onto the m42 20min away from my destination. I would have made the rest of my journey had it not been for complete morons hogging the outside lane repeatidly slamming their brakes on infront of me even though nothing was infront of them, then later getting bogged down in heavy traffic caused by scum bag lorrys drivers leap frogging each other on the a42. All of this meant I couldnt maintain a steady speed and had to keep clutching and braking and changing gear.

Clutch died, couldnt gain any speed, dropped from 70 - 60 - 50 - 40. Got dangerous, knew as soon as I stopped it wouldnt pull off again so I coaxed the poor old girl into the hard shoulder and she made the last 20mile journey to my mechanic on the back of an AA van.

Focus is currently on 125k and declared sorn as I now have a mondeo with 75k on it so whoever buys the focus will have a nice new clutch

IINexusII likes this

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complete morons hogging the outside lane repeatidly slamming their brakes on infront of me even though nothing was infront of them, then later getting bogged down in heavy traffic caused by scum bag lorrys drivers leap frogging each other

Absolutely hate this!

Anyway, i wouldnt worry if its just a high clutch, its things like binding gears, binding in the clutch travel, vibrations and chattery noises and clutch slip that would be the signs of a worn clutch

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While your in 5th gear accelerate, if your revs climb but your speed doesn't, your clutch is slipping, as easy as that. You could also start the engine, keep your handbrake on and put the car in 2nd gear and try to drive off, if it stalls your clutch is ok.

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what about a clunking noise either before or after changing gear.

for example driving along, pop it in to a higher gear and after releasing the clutch I get a clunk, it feels like the sudden change of torque is doing it, even without changing gear an just doing the motion with the clutch does it, can some times do it with the accelerator but its usually the clutch that does it. no concern changing gear other than down to first in the morning. no slip whilst driving, taking off in second is possible, not tried 3rd and 4th yet

ive just hit 70k...

any thoughts?

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The main thing i notice when a clutch is on its way out is the smell. They chuffing stink, bit like burnt hair.

Sent from my iPhone using Ford OC

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The main thing i notice when a clutch is on its way out is the smell. They chuffing stink, bit like burnt hair.

Sent from my iPhone using Ford OC

Similar smell when you slip it for a little way.

Another test (albeit dunno how useful) is putting it into 4th and letting the clutch up with the handbrake on. If it doesn't stall then the clutch has gone.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Ford OC mobile app

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